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Man Paralyzed Due to Hospital Errors, Receives $4.5M Settlement

Paralysis-related injuries are among some of the most serious and life-altering of all medical conditions. Additionally, the costs associated with these types of injuries are often significant with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation reporting that, for the first year following a paralysis injury, associated medical and personal expenses average roughly $502,000.

Recently, a man in his early 30s learned he'll receive a $4.5 million settlement related to a medical malpractice lawsuit he filed in 2012. The lawsuit stemmed from medical errors that occurred when the man sought medical treatment after collapsing while playing basketball.

The man had previously been involved in a motorcycle accident during which he ruptured his aorta which doctors repaired using a stent-graft. After collapsing, he was rushed to the hospital where emergency room doctors and hospital doctors and nurses failed to discover that the source of his screams of pain was a blood clot which was obstructing the stent.

By the time the clot was discovered and surgery to remove it performed, the man had suffered paralysis of his lower extremities. According to the lawsuit, the hospital's negligence stemmed from poor communication and patient transition procedures between emergency room and hospital staff. In this case, the defendant admitted failures in both and "has since implemented a 'corrective action plan'" to help prevent similar future errors.

The young man will never walk again or engage in many other activities he previously enjoyed. Also, he will require help and assistance to perform even basic daily tasks. While nothing can correct the egregious mistakes that caused the man to suffer these permanent and debilitating injuries, the lawsuit settlement will help provide for his medical and daily living needs.

Source: Los Angeles, "L.A. County settles medical malpractice case for $4.5 million," Jean Merl, March 31, 2015

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